Vernon 'Dyverse' Wooten

My name is Vernon 'Dyverse' Wooten and I was shot and paralyzed in the Bronx New York on Saturday July 13th 1991. It was my birthday. My 17th birthday in fact. A troubled teen living in the Staten Island group home, I was shot around 11:30 p.m. Very close to the time my mother said I was born. (I still don't know what that means) but yes taking a walk to the Chinese restaurant after a few games of 21 (not knowing that would be the last time I would ever dunk a basketball) I was shot in a drive by as I sat on a car tying my sneaker. I heard the car creep up although I was in such a great mood I didn't think much of it until I heard it slow down behind me. As I turned around to see all the members in the car I noticed the rear passenger had a gun aimed at me. Before I could turn around to take cover the gun went off striking me in the back with a 22 caliber bullet that lodged itself in my spine.

Who is Dyverse in 2015?

After being told that I would never walk again in recovery, I spent the next year and a half at Staten Island University hospital rehab. Beginning from the beginning I had to try to relearn how to walk, stand, and even sit up straight. At the end of that year and half I WALKED out of the hospital on full leg braces and crutches. Since then I went on to become an artist and musician featured in several documentaries on hip hop, the lead MC of a live hip hop band for over 15 years, the owner of Staten Island's first hip hop themed retail shop and the founder of Staten Island round table and artists coalition. I also own my own music studio and media marketing business not to mention I've done a tremendous amount of community work in Staten Island. I sit on the boards of 3 non-profits and I'm currently a grant winner for myself as an artist as well as my organization to create programming for teens.

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